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20th August 2021

Fuller’s renews partnership with Special Olympics GB

Fuller’s has renewed its partnership with Special Olympics GB for a further 12 months, with both organisations committed to building on the hugely successful existing partnership to help transform the lives of more people with an intellectual disability through sport.

Special Olympics GB is a non-profit organisation and the largest provider of year-round, sports coaching and athletic competition in summer and winter sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics GB currently has 105 all ability, inclusive sports clubs covering 28 sports across England, Scotland and Wales and reaches over 10,000 athletes.

An Official Partner since 2018, Fuller’s has been a generous, proactive and creative partner to Special Olympics GB from raising much needed funds including donations from promotional Children’s menu items and Ale & Pie tasting boards to donations from customers through Pennies charitable giving. Fuller’s employees have also joined in the fundraising with initiatives from the Fuller’s football tournament and pub quizzes to recent national campaigns such as the Captain Tom 100 challenge.

Moving forward, Fuller’s ambition is to build on the successes of the past three years and not only continue to raise money for Special Olympics GB and raise awareness of our amazing athletes, but also to build on its long-term view of becoming a truly inclusive employer with a blueprint in place for the recruitment of people with an intellectual disability embedded across the Fuller’s estate.

Commenting on the renewed partnership, Paul Richardson, Chair of Special Olympics GB said: “We are delighted, and hugely grateful that Fuller’s has decided to extend its partnership with Special Olympics GB for a further 12 months. Working with Fuller’s has proved to be a fantastic partnership for both sides and when we see its vision to celebrate individuality, create a world where everyone is respected and to welcome everyone into the Fuller’s family, we couldn’t ask for more. This truly demonstrates the fundamental impact our athletes and their successes and achievements have had on Fuller’s.

“With 94% of people with an intellectual disability NOT in paid employment this is a great step forward and one which we hope other forward-thinking companies will embrace. The last 18 months has been an incredibly difficult time for those in the hospitality industry and for Fuller’s to continue with its commitment and support speaks volumes. Huge thanks to everyone at Fuller’s and all its customers who have supported Special Olympics GB to date. It is very much appreciated.”

Simon Emeny, Chief Executive Fuller’s said: “Special Olympics is all about inclusivity and so is hospitality. The connection with Special Olympics GB is a great way of introducing our teams to the possibilities that other people have – yet which can go unnoticed. Public houses have always been a place for all – and with such a high proportion of people with an intellectual disability feeling socially excluded, we want to do our bit to address the issues. I’m delighted that we are continuing our partnership with Special Olympics GB for another year and I can’t wait to see where the partnership goes next.”

About Special Olympics GB

  • Special Olympics Great Britain (GB), set up in 1978, is a non-profit charity which provides year-round sports coaching and athletic competition in summer and winter sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
  • Special Olympics GB currently has 105 accredited programmes in England, Scotland and Wales and provides coaching and competition opportunities in 28 sports. These programmes are run by over 4,000 volunteers who support more than 10,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities to take part.
  • Special Olympics GB is more than just an opportunity to take part in sport – it transforms lives.  It provides opportunities to increase confidence, realise potential, develop physical fitness and mental well-being, demonstrate courage and experience new friendships.  And above all for both athletes and their families – to have some FUN.
  • The work of Special Olympics GB is currently funded by individuals, trust and corporate donations and financial support is crucial to enable us to continue our work. 

About Special Olympics 

  • Special Olympics is a global, IOC recognised organisation.
  • Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities, Special Olympics now reaches more than five million athletes in over 190 countries.
  • Unlike the Olympics and Paralympics, Special Olympics aims to offer opportunities for athletes of ALL abilities to take part in a range of sport every day of the week, every week of the year.

About Intellectual Disability

  • An intellectual disability (ID) is: ‘A significantly reduced ability to understand new or complex information, to learn new skills (impaired intelligence) with a reduced ability to cope independently (impaired social functioning) which started before adulthood, with a lasting effect on development’ Source: Department of Health (2001) Valuing People.
  • There are an estimated 1.5 million people with an intellectual disability in Great Britain and that number is predicted to rise to 1.7m by the end of 2021 (Source: Papworth Trust 2010).
  • Two hundred babies are born each week with an intellectual disability in the UK (Source: Papworth Trust 2010).
  • Eight out of ten children with an intellectual disability are bullied and ALL are socially excluded. (Source: Mencap 2007).
  • People with learning disabilities are 2.5 times more likely to have health problems than any other people. (Source: The Centre for Disability Studies, Leeds University).
  • People with Down Syndrome are 10 times more likely to die from Covid-19. (University of Oxford, 2020).
  • 81% of disabled people would like to be more active (Activity Alliance, Annual Disability and Activity Survey, 2019-2020)
  • Only 40% of disabled people feel they are given the opportunity to be as active as they would like to be (Activity Alliance, Annual Disability and Activity Survey, 2019-2020) 

Fuller, Smith & Turner PLC

Fuller, Smith & Turner PLC is the premium pubs and hotels business that is famous for beautiful and inviting pubs with delicious fresh food, a vibrant and interesting range of drinks, and engaging service from passionate people. Fuller’s has 209 managed businesses, with 1,027 boutique bedrooms, and 175 Tenanted Inns. The estate is predominately located in the South of England (44% of sites are within the M25) and stretches from our City of London heartland to the Jurassic Coast via the New Forest. Our Managed Pubs and Hotels include 15 iconic Ale & Pie pubs, seven stunning hotels in the Cotswolds, and Bel & The Dragon – seven exquisite country inns located in the Home Counties. In summary, Fuller’s is the home of great pubs, outstanding hospitality and passionate people, where everyone is welcome and leaves that little bit happier than they arrived.

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Press release from Special  Olympics GB and Fuller’s

For all press enquiries, please contact:

Alison Lavenant, PR & Communications Consultant, Special Olympics Great Britain

Tel: +44 (0) 7841 004 183



For all Fuller’s press enquiries, please contact:

Georgina Wald, Corporate Communications Manager